Planning on attending a writer's conference this year?
Conferences can be a rich source of knowledge, new friends, and renewed enthusiasm.
If you spend a lot of time planning your conference experience, make sure you plan for AFTER the conference, and most important What Not To Do After A Conference.
But what really happens is:
You double-check your proposal, send it, agent who requested it leaves agency, and overworked assistant to other agent send you a rejection meant for someone else.
(Seriously, this was my week. Still laughing about it.)
Thanks, Ms. Reid. Once the recession ends (and I'm looking at my ten-year calender here), I'll let myself spend money on conferences again. No discretionary spending until then, though.
I collapsed in tears during my first pitch -- even though the agent had just asked to see more. As in, literally ran out of the room shaking. I didn't follow up. I was in my twenties, that delicate decade when self-doubt tends to be masked either by excess bravado or cowardice. It was a truly silly thing to do, but I was ... well, quite a silly girl at the time. :)
I think that truly great artists of any kind should always have that measure of doubt. They should always wonder, "Is this truly good enough?" The hallmark of a good internal gatekeeper is precisely that -- the ability to step away from his or her work and imagine how it will be received by others. Or, in this case, an audience of one. ;)
For some, that doubt can be immobilizing.
I was floored when you requested my full MS, Janet. You really made my month. My first writer's conference, and the Query Shark wanted to read more. I was riding high.
I spent about a week going over everything a final time, then I sent it.
Then I waited. And I waited. And I waited and didn't hear back. It was discouraging as over a month went by with no word back on the query (which she had requested before sending the full).
I was, as many writers would be, wracked with doubt, but then I had also been reading the blogs, and your ever important post about following-up.
I concluded that my first query had been sacrificed to the email gods, and sent the query again. Within just a couple of days you got back to me and asked for the full. And even on sending that in you told me you had received it so I didn't have to worry that it, too, had gotten lost.
Even after you passed on the full, I'm riding high because I got someone to read the manuscript.
I'm glad I mustered the courage to pitch to you, but it never entered my mind that I wouldn't send the manuscript in.
I knew that even if the manuscript was rejected that I would get some kind of feedback on it as to why. I would be able to make it better for the next one who took a look at it.
Overcome the fear, fellow writers! Even being bitten by a shark isn't that bad.
Ms Reid, great advice.
Suzan, unless the agent died or quit the biz, track 'em down and send it again.
Melissa, As they say,"No guts, no glory". Sacrifice something and get to the conference. I'm looking at parting with one of my precious toys (an antique car) to finance going to a writer's conference this year.
And, for the final, over the top, tag line...
Don't doubt, just do it.
All the best.
There are two reasons I check this blog on a daily basis. First, I want to see what advice Janet Reid has to impart. Second, to read what she has shamelessly lifted off other sites. These other sites intrigue me because we can all bet she would never reference another blogger, agent, etc. unless it was reliable. Et voila! My network has just expanded.
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